Friday, June 29, 2007

You Just Never Know

I took the kids to the pool today. I normally avoid the pool on Fridays as the local youth programs attend on this day. I'm not against the programs, but there were just bunches and bunches of kids. I had a little run in with the lifeguards as they were over capacity in the tot pool. I took my littlest to the potty and they wouldn't let me back into the tot pool area. I respect their policy, but not the enforcement. I had children unattended in there and it isn't my fault they let those day programs invade on those of us who have paid....OK....I'm way off base at the moment, but I think you might get the sense of my mood.

I had a few words with one of the guards and then went in, re-camped in my chair and reclaimed children. A woman came over, asked if she could spread her stuff next to me and introduced herself as Susie. A very interesting dialogue ensued. She had two little ones (4 or 5 years old) plus an older child with her. She said to me that her family had experienced serious tragedy this past week and she was giving the kids a break. Giving herself one as well. Now, it isn't every day someone opens up a conversation like that. I didn't ask questions, though. I was still a little grumpy with the "too many in the facility" encounter.

She continued talking with me (OK....I finally put my magazine away and engaged....I wish I was a bigger person at times, but I'm not). She proceeded to tell me she was a retired prison guard and her husband was retired from law enforcement. They have spent the past 13 years of "retirement" building community. Her philosophy was very interesting. She talked at length about how kids just are clued out and if you only have 15 minutes with them then make it a good 15 minutes. Don't let them walk away without them knowing you care, and be bold enough to give advice. Don't keep it to yourself. She isn't a believer, but she does believe in the power of adult influence on a child's life. She said her front door is always open and kids wander in and out. They know they are only allowed to read and play board games in her front room. They also aren't allowed to call adults by their first name unless there is a miss or mr. in front of it.

She has seen the bad side of life. She shared with me the types of information she would read in case files. Ugghhh....she and her husband decided when they retired they wanted to help on the other end of life. She said, "retirement isn't for sitting around you know." OK...I now was hooked. I asked about the tragedy. It was her daughter and husband that were in a local car accident on the grade last week. The one where the unborn grandchild was killed....

She shared in detail about helping her daughter deliver her stillborn granddaughter. She had held her in her arms and told me she was as perfect as they come. She kept wishing that child would just breath. This gal is so thankful her daughter and husband are OK. They are badly hurt (broken bones and deep internal bruising). Her husband, who was in law enforcement and had high speed driving training (he was the passenger) had enough wherewithal to lean over and get between his daughter and the steering wheel. It was an older car without air bags. As he leaned over he grabbed the gear shift and jammed it into neutral. The medical personnel said this action saved the daughter's life. It left him with 5 broken ribs, broken sternum, bruised heart and injured lungs.

The emotional wounds are deep. I didn't push on this gals lack of faith, but just kept interjecting my praises into the conversation. This gal said being at the pool for just a couple of hours was a great break (and I had been internally complaining about the amount of kids etc...Oi.) She was very thankful to live in our community. I wished she knew the Lord. I have a funny feeling I might run into this gal again.

You just never know the divine appointments the Lord makes for you!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Transitions Mark Time

I had posted earlier regarding our transitional summer with my 5 year old. What I didn't write about is how we are also transitioning on the other end with our soon to be 12 year old. While he has already been in middle school for a year he now transitions in our church to Youth Group. He had his first Sunday 'downstairs' this past week. He was very excited to note that donuts and juice would be present EVERY week. Last night was his first evening with Youth Group. He had a good time and felt comfortable there. It was interesting to note him mention that he knew most of the boys, but not many of the girls. It is a social quagmire and he will have to learn how to navigate in it. He leaves for Hume Lake Church Camp in a week. Parts of Psalm 91 have been in his room since birth and it has always been my prayer for him...

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress. My God, in whom I trust" For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day; Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall no approach you. You will only look on with eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the Lord, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will trad upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down. Because he has love Me, therefor I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation."

I used to be anxious for this time period of the adolescent. Maybe I am naive, but isn't every stage of life complete with challenges and changes? I'm looking forward to the man Joey is becoming. He is looking forward to the man he is becoming. I believe that desire to be God given. He will be a Daniel in this generation.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Walking in the Shadows

I have two pictures to contemplate today. The first is of our beloved Jacob. There just aren't words to describe this boy. Try as I might the words just seem to fall short of the essence of Jacob. He was completely annoying his sister last evening. We were walking out from Costco (dad had to work, cheap dinner, errands accomplished!) the sun was behind us which cast our shadows in front of us. Jacob was enamored by them and chose to continually walk on his sisters shadow. Yep.....she did not appreciate it and tried to run in several directions to no avail. Jacob managed to find the shadow and jump on it. Screaming made me think immediately of those two well known verses, "Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of You wings." Psalm 16:8 and "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty" Psalm 91:1. I wonder just how much I scream when I am in the shadow of my Lord? I prefer my son's laughter.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Great is Thy Faithfulness

I was listening to the words of the great hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness, yesterday. I was struck anew at the power of this hymn. It was written by Thomas Chisolm and apparently he says it was written for no particular reason other than his experience and bible truth. It was written in 1923. I am always amazed at those who can put words to their thoughts. These were big thoughts!

Have you ever sat down and just said each one of these sentences, stopped and just pondered what it means? It is an amazing prayer. I was really struck with the fourth verse. The line strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. In a study I am doing the teacher talks about the extreme teachings on miracles. They are categorized in two ways, Cessationism and Sensationalism. Within the first one the teacher said, "The profoundly serious disservice of cessationism is that is cheats the believer and undercuts hope." (Beth Moore's 'Believing God') That quote immediately took me to that third line of Great is Thy Faithfulness. The question to you is what happens when someone or something tries to take our hope away? What are your thoughts?

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.


Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!


(a note on copyrighted material....this is copyrighted, but I am using it under the fair share use clause as I am not using it for a performance, church service or other public gathering)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Between Two Worlds

OK....two snap shots of the couch in my office. Yes, I did say my office. When we bought our home 6 years ago David and I both had specific desires in the home we were to purchase. He wanted a third garage for a shop and I wanted a laundry room and an office. Well, compromise took place because we don't have a third garage (although part of the garage was converted to a shop) and I don't have a laundry room. Is it right to actually covet that (I'm thinking not). I did get an office, though and for that I am thankful. My office is a disaster at the moment but as I was cleaning it up I laughed as I was looking at my couch. The stack of books to the left are all that I am studying and reading at the moment. I truly say that with all humility. The Lord has given me a full plate of study at the moment and I am thankful He has also seen fit to give me the time to do it. The stack to the right is of books I was reading to some of the kids. The two stacks seem like they are in stark contrast to each other. Actually they aren't. Both stacks of books deal with trust, trials and how to decipher this God ordained life. Sometimes I wonder where, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see? belongs. On the right side or the left? I had a friend say to me recently that she felt like her life was lived in snapshot scenes or snippets. A few moments here and a few moments there. Our lives can be complicated pieces of work. It is like a very large mosaic. Individual pieces seem odd shaped and color, but in the big picture they fit together like a well crafted piece of art. Do you know the Artist?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Day with Elena

The olders were off with Dad working cattle for the day. This gave Elena and mom an entire day together. The day included the library, a little shopping for Father's Day, time at home with playdough (she made Jesus pancakes. I had to ask what those were and she said, "pancakes with crosses on them"). We ended our day with a hike up a local hill. Her baby doll accompanied us everywhere and we had to take time out for the doll to take a nap. Which was good, because I wanted one!! Elena looked at me earlier in the day and said, "I love spending the day with you." doesn't get much better than that.

Friday, June 15, 2007


My husband and I went on a walk the other evening. Let me say that husband and I went on a walk the other evening (Alone!!!). I was thinking it was the first time in 12 years that we have walked alone. I'm not joking. We have four kids. The first who blessed us almost 12 years ago. It was this time 12 years ago that I stopped (supposedly) working and had two forced weeks of down time. My blood pressure did a little hiccup prior to our blessings arrival and I had to stay somewhat quiet for a couple of weeks until his arrival. I haven't had two weeks like that in a long, long time.

We have entered a station of life in our home which I can go to the market or go for a walk or meet a friend for coffee without taking the entire Grant family with me. It is a nice station to be at. We've worked a long 12 years to get to this point. I wasn't sure which side of my husband to walk on and he kept teasing me that I was out of step! Well, there is a being out of step that is. It did make me think of the times in my life where I have been walking, but not always in step with the Lord. I also was thinking about how sweet the reunion is. I know many of you young moms out there are deep in the throws of little blessings in your home. Trust me when I use the word blessings even when you want to drop kick them across the room (don't call Child Protective Services on me).

For everything there is a season Eccl. 3. Just embrace it. Fighting it just adds to the length of your day. Your walk with a friend or loved one is coming....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Divinity and Humanity Take Two it isn't always about me having my head deeply buried in a mind-broadening book or study. So much for completing any schooling today. I had to work and came home to these two clowns! I don't remember seeing dress-up and dancing on the lesson plans.

Yep....a lot of humanity (filled with divinity) that is very, very eager for summer.

Ruthless Trust Quote of the week...

I haven't quoted from the book, Ruthless Trust that I am reading with a friend for over a week! Here is another good thought....

"The towering importance of the above caveat-that transcendence must be conjoined with immanence, that divinity must be coupled with humanity, that heaven must be balanced with earth, and that God's distance must be complemented by his nearness--is essential if we are to grasp the true meaning of the glory of Jesus."

Do you ever give thought to Christ's divinity versus His humanity? (In truth, I did have to look up the definition of transcendence and immanence in this context.)

"Disregard of God's immanence deprives us of any sense of intimate belonging, while inattention to his transcendence robs God of his Godliness."

My friend gave me a great thought. "You know, Missy, God isn't 50-50. He is 100% divinity and 100% humanity."

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Weekend

I spent my weekend in Camarillo supporting my Emma as she participated in a soccer tournament. I have to admit that I really did not want to go. I love watching sports and I particularly enjoy watching my kids play. The problem for me was that I had a lot of work to take care of this weekend and would not be able to do as much of it from down south. I contemplated having my husband go, but ended up going myself.

I'm glad I did. Well....not at first. I took a bunch of work with me thinking I would be able to connect online at the hotel (and a nice one it was, too). Alas, they wanted to charge me a large fee for hookup. Being cheap I wasn't about to pay the fee. Oh well. I then thought I would be able to do some research between games. No such luck. A little shopping therapy at the Temple of Target was calling to me. We had early games Saturday so I then was looking at working afterwards. Nope. I spent time at the pool talking with another mom. Maybe after dinner. Two and a half hours later after 45 of us ate dinner I was no longer in the mood.

The Lord kept taking away the work. Why? So I could focus on my Emma and have some amazing conversations with some other parents. The Lord has dropped me into this group for a reason. Some know the Lord and others don't. My earlier pool conversation was with a mom who is Jewish. We talked at length about how an international exchange student from Japan had spent the year with their family. It was an amazing experience for this family, but they really didn't connect with this student. They hold very different perspectives on the world, religion, politics and education. It made me realize how different my perspective is with this mom. Ever talk to a Jewish person about the prophet Isaiah? We will see where the Lord takes me with this group of Jewish believers, Muslim believers, Catholics, and fellow Christians.

I'm glad the Lord saw fit to take away my work this weekend. He had other work for me to do.

Friday, June 08, 2007


Today was the big graduation day. Preschool graduation that is. Here is a picture of Elena being given a little diploma and a hug from her beloved Miss "Mickole". Her teacher's name is really, Nicolle, but Elena has pronounced 4 year old incorrect for several months. I haven't had the heart to correct her! We had a fun little ceremony at a nearby park, they sang the butterfly song and then potluck for all. It was cute, precious and just right for a friday afternoon.

I cried on the way home. I am done with preschool.....there just isn't anything as sweet and innocent about being at the pre-school age. Congratulations, Elena. Loving all over you....

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Happy Birthday, Elena!

The pre-birthday celebration was Disneyland in April. The real day celebration was today! A Princess and Prince party. Lots of squeeling, laughter, bubbles, friends, and celebration. I don't have any pics of the princes, though. They were busy with weapons and wrestling (very prince like). When we brought our princess home from the hospital 5 years ago, this scripture had been left for me. "I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." Is 61:10

I do delight greatly in the Lord and I rejoice in my God. Gaze at one of my blessings...

Monday, June 04, 2007

I just want to play....

Spunky is trying with all her might to get to those chickens! At this point she thinks they are just big play toys for her. The chicks are big enough to give her a run for money, though. The coop is almost done and my TV room will soon stop smelling like chickens! Oh....the final names are Rosemary, Pippy, Nutmeg, Tigger Lilly Sister, Rascal. The funny thing is they really do have personalities. Nutmeg is shy and lets the others eat first. Rascal pushes everyone around, Rosemary is sweet, Pippy is just funny. Who knew?

The Empty Basket

The picture to the right is of our beloved (and handy) snack basket. It is empty because we just came home from preschool and shared snack for the last time....

For some reason it made me a little sad. I have spent 9 years bringing snacks for Preschool. One of the moms laughed and said, "Did you bring the best snack ever today?" The answer is no. We had a good laugh over my first time bringing snack. I actually read the list of what to bring back then. Today, a little more scrounging took place. I will have many opportunities to bring snack for other occasions (soccer anyone?!!), but each little event of finishing is a step forward towards a different period in our lives. So much of the time I think we come to the Lord thinking our snack basket is full and that it should be. The truth is our basket is empty...which is exactly how the Lord wants it. For there is no other way to come humbly to Him....